My Uncle lived with us when I was little, he needed a place to stay and my mother needed the extra cash. Our first home was a two bedroom apartment. Mother had her own bedroom and my uncle and I shared the other. They were happy times. We had bunk beds and I have one vivid memory of sharing them! The mattress rested on a series of slats which were joined together by two strips of tough material. The top and bottom slats held in place on wooden pegs. Somehow the top slat had jumped loose from the pegs. during the night the slats slowly worked themselves down the bed, bunching up together and the mattress slowly tipping downwards. At some point during the night gravity did its work and I slid down through the bed landing squarely on my poor uncles’ head! It was one hell of a wake up for us! No injuries thankfully and after our hearts had stopped beating their way through our chests we were able to have a good laugh! He put up with being woken up often, nosebleeds, pains, nightmares but never one any more memorable than that! He always showed such caring and patience. I loved sharing a room with him, he wasn’t always around, often spending time at his girlfriends but when he was it was lovely. I felt loved and safe.
In our next home we had separate rooms but we still hung out a lot. I adored his taste in rock music and whenever I heard it start I’d go through. I’d get a row from mother most times she found me there, being a country, musicals and pop girl she didn’t approve of my musical education! I’d also spend time with him in the little shed where he worked on his motorbike and sometimes he would take me to the park or beach. He joined the merchant navy when I was around eight and he would be away months at a time. I missed him so much; he had given me permission to listen to his records as long as I was very careful and so I would do as often as I could get away with. Sometimes I would go into his room just to lie on his bed, you could still smell his scent and it made me feel nearer to him. It was so exciting when he would come home, there were always presents but having him back was the best gift. He can’t have been in the merchant navy more than two years when mother got a phone call to say he was missing. It was weeks before they found him. He wasn’t alive. He’d had an accident in port and drowned.
There was so much sorrow but also anger as our family got further ripped apart by my mothers’ greed. My mother decided she was moving away, leaving our hometown behind and separating me from my grandfather. I was lost and frightened. Then this one day my mother told me to bring her my hot water bottle to be filled. I should have fished under the covers at the bottom of the bed as usual but I decided to be awkward instead and so I burrowed under the covers from the top down. I have no idea how what happened next happened! Did I fall asleep, daydream or did my dead uncle visit me? I felt the blackness open up, I was still in complete darkness but it no longer felt like I was in a small space and there with me was my uncle. I ran to him, throwing myself at him and he scooped me up into a hug. He sat down and placed me in his lap. I can’t remember the exact conversation but I know I said something along the lines of “So you aren’t dead anymore! That’s good!” He looked at me so sadly and he told me he wasn’t able to be with us anymore but he needed to talk to me. He told me things were going to get difficult but I was a strong girl. He told me that things would be okay, that I would be okay. That he would be with me and always watching. He began to say something else but I was ripped from that place. Rough hands were hauling me out of the bed. Mother was yelling, how dare I ignore her, I must have heard her calling, I’d be getting no bottle for making her wait and all the while she spanked me. I said “but mum I was talking to uncle” and she grew furious but it was pain I saw in her eyes. “You and your bloody lies” she screamed! I stopped trying to explain and just cried.
In my teens I would sneak into mothers bedroom cupboard and take my favourite album from the box of his possessions to listen to for a while. I would hold the gifts he had given to me that she had confiscated and remember him. When I got married I longed for him to be there and see what a good man I had in my life. As my children were born and grew I wished he could hold them and give them the love he had given me. And when I became so ill I would silently ask him how much longer I needed to be strong, why so much pain, was I a bad person that deserved this?
One afternoon I got answers. If you have read part 1 of this you will know where I was in my life. If you have not then I will just say I was in a very bad state of mind, I had given up the fight and felt ready to welcome death.
I was in bed, the curtains drawn, not sleeping but just lying there. My husband came up to let me know he was going to collect our son from school and would get the shopping in, I nodded. He asked if I wanted anything, I shook my head, no. He left. I felt drowsy, held by my usual medication haze. I found myself in an open blackness and a figure approached. A Dark figure yet I could see clearly in the blackness, he had a face but yet did not, I can’t really explain. He had a soft blur over his a face, features as if seen through opaque glass. “Hello” I said and “Hello” he replied, “I am here to help you understand”. “Understand what?” I snapped. There was no hint of irritation from the figure, he radiated peace and I felt no fear. He told me there were some things I needed to know. He told me there are many paths open to us during our lives and there are many divergences along these paths. He explained to me that there was at one point a road for me onwards in my hometown, a safe road, one that would see me fulfil my dreams but one that was shut off to me. The other path left had been treacherous but I had been strong.
He told me we don’t always get the life we want but sometimes we end up with the life we need. I felt a truth in this.. I was waking from my nightmare.
Down this road I had learned to rely on myself and in all relationships I held up a wall, a glass wall that I could see through but not fully feel through. It was hard for me to trust, it was hard for me to need help.
I had stayed strong but my strength had fled. I was left vulnerable and scared but having to ask for help, to rely on others to get me through was not something I could tolerate easily. I was to be relied upon, I was to be needed. I did not want to need.
He told me I had the life I NEED! I have the people I NEED!
I had a husband who made me feel so loved and needed.
I had children who made me feel so loved and needed.
I had a family that was there for me.
It was time to awaken and realise it was okay, it was alright for me to let the truth out that I needed them more!
I began to cry, I didn’t just hear him, I could feel his words change me. Something deep and dark lifted within me. I thanked him, “I understand now” I said. He placed a hand on my shoulder and then turned, beginning to walk away. “Wait” I said “Why can’t I see your face?” I asked him. It suddenly seemed extremely important for me to ask this, his not there face bothered me now. I know you I thought.. I know who you are! He stopped but didn’t turn around “Because you have forgotten what I look like Shelley!” “Uncle” I yelled out! I hadn’t seen a photograph of him in 30 years and yes I had no clear recollection of his features, just an opaque memory. I began to run to him but I never reached him. I was back in the world with my husbands hand on my shoulder “I’m home hunny, do you need anything?” I started to cry, he looked panicked. I was sobbing; I could not speak at all. He climbed up beside me and cuddled me “What is it hunny?”
I cried for a long time before I was able to talk. When I was able I was fearful, “you’re going to laugh at me”, “you won’t believe me” I said but I told him everything. I told him about my dream/visitation, I told him about how I had been feeling, I told him how sorry I was and how much I needed him. I had been relying on my husband from day one but not enough, not fully trusting, not being fully open; too much fear. I felt unburdened. I let my last wall crash down.
Then I got up, I was wide awake now.
I was still worried about our troubles but I knew I could get through anything with my family at my side. Letting them help me as I help them and that is what I have done. I have embraced my vulnerability and I have shared it and I feel stronger now than ever.
One last part to the story..
I phoned up my grandad the next day to catch up, He told me something strange had happened the previous day. That it has been a really dark gloomy day. In the late afternoon he stood looking out the window when suddenly light parted the deep cloud and a small beam of brilliant light shone through for just a short time and then was gone. Wow! I immediately knew I’d have to share my experience with him, taking the chance he would think I was crazy! He didn’t call me crazy! What I found out was a revelation! Before my uncle died he had hoped to convince my mother to allow me to stay behind, perhaps to live with himself and his girlfriend? I don’t know but there was my closed off path. I have two thoughts on the beam of light, I feel it as was meant as a starter to that conversation and it was a sign of love to my grandad.
So I have no idea what my experiences were. I was raised a christian but I lost my faith many years ago though I still feel I am a spiritual person. Maybe I was simply dreaming, maybe my subconscious was talking to me or just maybe the spirit of my uncle visited me to save me.
The awakening experience challenge by Barbara Franken
1st Barbara – http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com
2nd Paddy – http://paddypicasso.wordpress.com
3rd Emanuel- http://emantable.com/musings-of-a-table/
6th Julianne – http://juliannevictoria.com
7th Sarah – http://theskycladwriter.wordpress.com
8th Shree – http://heartsongsblog.wordpress.com
9th Dace – http://mywaytotruth.wordpress.com
10th Korinn – http://www.korinn.com
11th Sindy – http://bluebutterfliesandme.wordpress.com
12th Stefanie – http://dancingwithstefanie.com
13th Mick – http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com
15th Megan – http://mychroniclifejourney.wordpress.com
16th Pat – http://patinspire.org
17th Marga – http://lifeasimprov.com
18th Kimberley – http://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com
21st Heather – http://wildflowerwomen.wordpress.com
23rd Sue – http://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com
24th M… – http://seeingm.wordpress.com
25th Brian G – http://middlepane.com
26th Dotta – http://dottaraphels.wordpress.com
27th CW – http://sunflowerrosecw.wordpress.com
28th Laurie – http://lauriesnotes.wordpress.com
29th Debra – http://ptero9.com
30th Linda – http://lindalitebeing.wordpress.com
31st Michael – http://navigator1965.wordpress.com
1st Leigh – http://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com
2nd Shaman – http://shamanictracking.com
3rd Joss – http://ccwow.wordpress.com
4th Jenna – http://jennadee222.wordpress.com
5th Shelley – https://livingwithshadows.wordpress.com
6th Elisabeth – http://almostspring.com
7th Michael – http://embracingforever.com
8th Lehua – http://amusingspirit.wordpress.com
9th Aleya – http://alohaleya.wordpress.com